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Films/Supplements not on Blu or DVD... but on Laserdisc (1 Viewer)

Brian Kidd

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Hey folks. Sorry if this is out of place, but seeing as it has been a while since HTF had a Laserdisc section (I feel so old...so old...), I wanted to pick the hive mind of the membership about something.

What are some really good films or supplements (commentaries, essays, featurettes, still galleries, etc.) that are only available on Laserdisc and not DVD or Blu-ray?

For example, I was talking on a thread a couple of days ago about Mystery of the Wax Museum and how the filmmakers had really mastered the use of two-color Technicolor by the time it came out. Longtime member, Will Krupp, mentioned that the current transfer available on DVD and Blu-ray had the green tones altered to appear blue, which is a complete departure from how the film would have looked during its release. He also said that the Laserdisc, however, had not been altered and was a more accurate representation of the film's color palate. Off to eBay I went, all the while thinking of the excuse I would make to my long-suffering wife when yet another package arrived in the mail.

As someone who still has a functioning Laserdisc player that I like to spin up every once in a while, I'm still interested in obtaining LD's that offer something that isn't available on later formats because either the film is obscure or, for various reasons, the supplements have been replaced or eliminated or the film has been altered. Maybe it's an informative commentary track, maybe it's the original theatrical sound mix, maybe it's a different cut of a film (Darn you, George Lucas), or maybe it's a vintage "making-of" featurette. Whatever they case may be, what are some gems that I should add to my collection?
 

Matt Hough

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The brilliant (alas late) film historian Ron Haver did a fantastic commentary on Criterion's laserdisc of SIngin' in the Rain which is head and shoulders above the compilation commentary on the DVD/Blu-ray.
 

Walter Kittel

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Probably not worth the time and expense to track down, but the one that immediately comes to mind is the original version of the Pixar animated short film Knick Knack which is on the Toy Story Box Set LD (CAV). It features several very buxom female characters whose anatomies were 'toned down' when this feature arrived on DVD.

Some of the sound mixes on LD were pretty terrific. I've alway thought that the Japanese import LD for Star Wars: The Phantom Menace had one of the most aggressive mixes I've ever heard on LD. In particular the race sequence.

- Walter.
 

Dick

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The commentaries from the first three James Bond films on Criterion (CAV) are a great listen. Hard to find discs, I imagine.

Nigh to impossible. I was fortunate enough to have a friend who owned these and transferred the commentary tracks to nice-looking DVD copies.

EDIT: I just returned to eBay to have a look at prices for these, and they are remarkably low now. I based my comment above on my search years ago to find these, and they were way-y- too expensive for me. It's a laser disc lover's buyer's market!
 
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Stefan Andersson

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Hey folks. Sorry if this is out of place, but seeing as it has been a while since HTF had a Laserdisc section (I feel so old...so old...), I wanted to pick the hive mind of the membership about something.

What are some really good films or supplements (commentaries, essays, featurettes, still galleries, etc.) that are only available on Laserdisc and not DVD or Blu-ray?

For example, I was talking on a thread a couple of days ago about Mystery of the Wax Museum and how the filmmakers had really mastered the use of two-color Technicolor by the time it came out. Longtime member, Will Krupp, mentioned that the current transfer available on DVD and Blu-ray had the green tones altered to appear blue, which is a complete departure from how the film would have looked during its release. He also said that the Laserdisc, however, had not been altered and was a more accurate representation of the film's color palate. Off to eBay I went, all the while thinking of the excuse I would make to my long-suffering wife when yet another package arrived in the mail.

As someone who still has a functioning Laserdisc player that I like to spin up every once in a while, I'm still interested in obtaining LD's that offer something that isn't available on later formats because either the film is obscure or, for various reasons, the supplements have been replaced or eliminated or the film has been altered. Maybe it's an informative commentary track, maybe it's the original theatrical sound mix, maybe it's a different cut of a film (Darn you, George Lucas), or maybe it's a vintage "making-of" featurette. Whatever they case may be, what are some gems that I should add to my collection?


More discussion here, with input from Jack Theakston and David Shepard:
http://www.nitrateville.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=15350
 

Dick

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I did not say that the commentary tracks themselves are hard to find. The Criterion CAV discs containing them were, however. I do see that there are copies now on eBay for amazingly low prices, whereas a few years ago, when last I checked, prices tended toward $100+. Now, anyone with certain kinds of software and skills can download the tracks you link to and produce a hybrid DVD or even Blu-ray, which almost certainly deflated the price of the Criterion discs on eBay. These are interesting commentaries, occasionally rather disingenuous to UA and the producers and certain members of the cast and crew, but really nothing terribly inflammatory.
 
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Dick

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Adding to the OP's requested list, I would add the original John Sturges commentary for THE GREAT ESCAPE (which Criterion might eventually release on Blu-ray...that film could certainly use an upgrade, beginning with a 4K scan). Slowly, Criterion has been providing the missing laser disc commentaries to its Blu releases (THE GRADUATE, BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK, MIDNIGHT COWBOY).
 

OliverK

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The Criterion LD of El Cid has extras that to my knowledge have not been ported to any of the available DVD or Blu-ray versions, I mainly remember an interview with Philip Yordan about Anthony Mann but there are other segments, too I believe.
 

Powell&Pressburger

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Most of the more expensive classic Disney animated box sets such as Cinderella, Snow White, Pinocchio and titles in their Exclusive Archive Collection Alice in Wonderland and Saludos Amigos & The Three Caballeros sets featured massive amounts of still frane artwork and supplemental audio features that dont even come close to previous DVD / BLU editions.

For example the Saludos Amigos & The Three Caballeros supplemental sheet
 

Brian Kidd

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View attachment 44723 View attachment 44722 View attachment 44721 Most of the more expensive classic Disney animated box sets such as Cinderella, Snow White, Pinocchio and titles in their Exclusive Archive Collection Alice in Wonderland and Saludos Amigos & The Three Caballeros sets featured massive amounts of still frane artwork and supplemental audio features that dont even come close to previous DVD / BLU editions.

For example the Saludos Amigos & The Three Caballeros supplemental sheet
I have the Alice in Wonderland set. I believe most of the supplements ended up making their way to DVD and Blu-ray, but there may be a few demo recordings, etc. that didn't make the transition. For a while, there, Disney did a fantastic job releasing supplements. Those days have passed, sadly.
 

skylark68

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I believe the Criterion release of Boogie Nights on laserdisc had the old John Holmes "Exhausted" documentary on it. I think that it had PT Anderson's commentary on it as well linking the doc to the Boogie Nights film.
 

Brian Kidd

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I believe the Criterion release of Boogie Nights on laserdisc had the old John Holmes "Exhausted" documentary on it. I think that it had PT Anderson's commentary on it as well linking the doc to the Boogie Nights film.
It apparently had excerpts from it, though not the entire film. I remember that the clips had to be removed from the DVD release at the last minute because of rights issues.
 

Peter M Fitzgerald

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The laserdisc release of The Fearless Vampire Killers had the cartoon-animated alternate opening sequence (from the old, butchered U.S. release of the film), plus the promotional featurette, "All Eyes on Sharon Tate" (although it was actually made to promote Eye of the Devil, with only a brief mention that Tate's next film was going to be Vampire Killers), neither of which are on the Warner DVD (however, the vintage FVK promo, "Vampires 101", is included on the DVD, but wasn't on the laserdisc).



 

Powell&Pressburger

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I have the Alice in Wonderland set. I believe most of the supplements ended up making their way to DVD and Blu-ray, but there may be a few demo recordings, etc. that didn't make the transition. For a while, there, Disney did a fantastic job releasing supplements. Those days have passed, sadly.


Yeah it seems Disney wants to add kid friendly games instead of suplemental materials that animation aficionados love.

It was nice when some classic animated films got some audio commentaries from John Canemaker and more of those would have been most welcomed, but instead most features talk down to the audience.
 

Colin Jacobson

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I did not say that the commentary tracks themselves are hard to find. The Criterion CAV discs containing them were, however. I do see that there are copies now on eBay for amazingly low prices, whereas a few years ago, when last I checked, prices tended toward $100+.

You saw the CAVs on eBay? I had a look and only saw CLVs - maybe I messed up the search!
 

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